Worker Retraining

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Eligibility/Qualifying Documents

How do I know if I am eligible?

If you are:

  • Being laid off from a job and have a WARN notice; or
  • Currently receiving Washington State unemployment benefits; or
  • Have exhausted Washington State unemployment benefits in the past 24-months; or
  • A displaced homemaker who has been dependent on the income of another family member, but is no longer supported by that income and is unemployed or underemployed and experiencing difficulty in obtaining employment.
  • Are a vulnerable worker; underemployed
  • Was self-employed unemployed as a result of general economic conditions in the community
  • A veteran who has been honorably discharged within the past 24 months.

What proof is needed to apply?

  • Dislocated Worker or Transitioning Veteran
  • A current stub from your Washington State unemployment check; or
  • A printout from Employment Security of the and WIA001 screens; or
  • A copy of a WARN notice from your current employer; or
  • A photocopy of your DD214 showing separation date and “honorable” discharge
  • For Displaced Homemaker
  • A photocopy of legal separation, divorce decree, death certificate; or primary wage earners current Unemployment Insurance stub or a printout of the WIA001 screen from Employment Security and/or a statement of current circumstances
  • For Self-Employed
  • Documentation reflecting self-employment
  • For Vulnerable Worker (Must meet 2 of the below)
  • Employed in a “not in demand” (declining) occupation on the region’s Demand-Decline List.
  • Have not taken more than 45 college credits nor have a certificate or degree related to college course work
  • Needs to obtain new skills to remain employed; worker and/or employer must attest that training is needed to meet new skill standards in current employment

Worker Retraining Programs

What programs qualify for WRT grant funding?

Worker Retraining students must enter programs that are listed on the Workforce Explorer “Demand” list for Pierce County; please reference the Washington State Demand/Decline List or enter programs that are supported by the 2012-2013 Worker Retraining Plan as listed below: 

  • Computer Networking and Information Systems Security (CNISS) (Qualifies for Opportunity Grant funding.)
  • Hemodialysis Technician (Qualifies for Opportunity Grant funding.)
  • Nursing Assistant – Certified (Qualifies for Opportunity Grant funding.)
  • Residential Construction (Qualifies for Opportunity Grant funding.)
  • Sustainable Building Science (Qualifies for Opportunity Grant funding.)

How to apply

Please download and complete these forms:

Once you have registered for classes and completed the checklist you may drop off your completed application to Kasey Clark within the Ask Me Center; located in the lobby of Bldg 17.

Receiving Unemployment?

How do I continue to collect unemployment insurance and attend school? What is CAT? What is TB?

Washington State Employment Security has excellent information on their website at Applications for Commissioner-Approved Training (CAT) and Training Benefits (TB) are available.

If you apply and are CAT approved, you are allowed to suspend your job search and still collect your UI benefits while attending an approved full-time training program. Attending training does not extend or reduce your benefits with the CAT program.

Training Benefits (TB) is an extension of UI benefits payable after your regular and emergency unemployment compensation funds run out. TB does not pay for training.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will determine my eligibility?

Once you have applied for admissions and registered for a class, you will meet with a counselor to complete the WRT intake application. This application and supporting documentation mentioned above will be taken to the Ask Me Center in Building 17, Lakewood Campus.  Students must complete a FAFSA application.

How long may I receive a WRT grant?

Worker Retraining is used as a start-up fund and typically awarded for one quarter.  Additional funding may be awarded on a case by case basis.

What college expenses will be covered by the WRT grant?

One hundred percent (100%) of tuition and fees and funding for books.

Are Worker Retraining and Dislocated Worker Programs (WIA) the same?

No. The Worker Retraining Grant is a state funded program and the Dislocated Worker Program is federally funded. Eligibility criteria and application processes are different. You should contact your local WorkSource Center for Dislocated Worker Program information.

Is there a deadline to apply for Worker Retraining?

No. But College classes can fill up and there are deadlines to be aware of if you are receiving unemployment.

Can I receive more than one quarter?

Additional quarters are determined by the Financial Aid office on a case by case basis.

Do I have to apply for financial aid?

Yes - even if you have a college degree. We have all our students apply so we can see if they might qualify for other grant programs as well.

Can Worker Retraining be used to pay for Nursing Pre-Requisites?

No.  Worker Retraining can only be used for programs that you have been admitted to.  Once you have been admitted to the Nursing program, upon completion of all pre-requisites, you may apply for Worker Retraining funding.